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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Collaborating to Address Real World Environment and Natural Resource Challenges

Jan. 9, 2023
A student team presents its capstone project.

ENR Capstone projects on display

The Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) hosted a special networking reception on December 6 in lead up to the World Soil Day themed evening program.

The networking reception featured 15 student teams presenting their final autumn semester 2022 Environment and Natural Resources capstone projects. Watch some of the highlights of the evening event in the video below.

About the projects and reception

EPN has hosted the capstone networking reception for several years, bringing together students, professionals, and the Ohio State community to learn about the projects students are leading in collaboration with client-focused needs.

“We love the opportunity to feature Ohio State Senior Capstone work and connect students with our community of environmental professionals,” said Joe Campbell, Director of the Environmental Professionals Network, a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

This year, Zachary Steffensmeier, a lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources served as lead instructor for one of the sections of the capstone course for the first time.

“My students engaged in multiple projects ranging from measuring canopy cover in Weinland Park to a Bioblitz on Ohio State's campus,” Steffensmeier said. “My hope is that these datasets will allow us to have baseline data to measure long-term biodiversity successes or failures on campus.”

Students in the other sections of the course taught by Matt Hamilton, assistant professor, SENR; Greg Hitzhusen, assistant professor, SENR; and Tim Jaquet, lecturer, AEDE collaborated with clients on projects associated with sustainable school transportation, composting for Central Ohio, stream restoration engagement and the misuse of storm drains in the Lower Olentangy Watershed and more. One project this semester was discussed in The Columbus Dispatch here.

Some of this year’s projects on display (and past ENR capstone projects) have been added to the Knowledge Bank (KB), a service of The Ohio State University Libraries, which collects, preserves, and distributes the intellectual output of The Ohio State University. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to deposit their research and scholarship to KB and some ENR Capstones have submissions in the Campus as a Living Laboratory archive, which seeks to “unite campus operations with academics to ensure the success of meeting Ohio State’s sustainability goal.” Access these projects here.

Growing professionals

The ENR capstone experience enables students to immerse themselves in a project, in a way perhaps they’ve not had the opportunity to do in other classes and learn how to use the experience to grow and develop professionally.

Most students are completing their capstone projects in their last year of college, so I’m seeing some of them through individual appointments, and we’re talking about their plans after graduation. It’s really helpful for me to have a connection to their capstone classes and know something about their projects, because then I’m more equipped to help them determine how to talk about the experience to potential employers.  — Lucia Hadella, SENR career development coordinator

I visit the capstone courses each semester and talk with them about different ways to leverage their capstone experience toward their professional development,” said Lucia Hadella, career development coordinator in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. “I share advice on how to make the most of the presentation by knowing how to recognize, and act on, a potential networking interaction with the professionals who are stopping by to see their posters. I also talk with them about how to represent their projects on their resumes,” Hadella said.

A full list of autumn 2023 ENR Capstone Projects on display is available here.